Budget multi-role kayak or pack canoe for heavy guy trying to be a lighter guy w/dog and teenager advice

Hi all! I am new, and a failed Canoe\Kayak builder; not because of skill, more time and space issues. I am trying to find something to get me on the water with my family and dog. My spouse has a paddleboard and my youngest a youth sit on top. Me and my oldest are left high and dry and I was looking to change that but it gets tricky. I want something I can take fishing, but I also want something I can just have fun with in the bays and beach surf. I had been looking at the NuCanoe Classic 10\12, Old Town Next, Pescador, Riot Escape 12, Edge, and Bayside, Pelican Boost 10 and Sentinel 100X. My dream Kayak is a F1 from Cape Falcon BUT I don’t think that would suit my oldest who is probably just looking to poke around the beach with her sister.
What options are there for budget\beginner pack canoes?
Should I just save some money and get a Pelican or is it worth it to go for something of better quality in terms of design and construction?
Or should I buy more wood more glue and keep on sticking things together until it all floats? haha

Hi and welcome. I suggest buying something that fits the type of activity you plan to do the most. You have a bit of a grocery list of types and styles of boats that are hard to compare and none will do everything you want them to. Try looking for the best quality boat in your price range.

“Buy once, cry once” is a saying I’m fond of, because when you buy cheap, that’s often just what you get… cheap. While I can’t recommend any specific canoes (because I don’t know anything about them), I can say that you will be much better off spending the extra to get something of better quality.

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Hi and welcome.

It sounds like you need a couple boats. You have a variety of boats listed and a variety of usages including a dog. If you and your oldest along with the rest of the family all go together you will likely need two boats anyway.

Weight capacities is also a question. Then you want to do it on a budget has to get factored in.

Give us more information and maybe we can make some suggestions.

We have two boats already; a beginner sitontop and a paddleboard. I think a pack canoe is the best fit, I can fish, carry stuff\pets\people the NuCanoe and Old Town Next are what I have been looking too.

Maybe something like the OT Discovery 119 canoe.

I wanted a larger longer solo and being cheap found a used OT 147 that was a tandem, took out the seats and yoke and set it up kind of like a pack canoe. Not a real hard project to DIY. Lots of room for gear and a dog and I’m also a bigger guy and the extra size helped.


Not for surfing… Not at all… You need a small plastic tandem. You can double blade any canoe. Trying to stuff too much stuff in a pack canoe is dangerous. It matters not at all who the maker is, the laws of physics rule. You need something at least 15 feet long. And a 23 lb pack canoe is not meant to grind 400 lbs into sand. You over load a boat and you might as well be paddling a log. In a canoe you need about 8 inches of freeboard.

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Pack canoes are not for surf. Sounds like what you need is neither a kayak nor a canoe but a small rowing craft like a dory or yawl if you are looking for a boat for coastal surf zones. One of these would check all your boxes. There are plans and even kits for those, since you are already set up for DIY. CLC has many styles, like this yawl: Chester Yawl - Classic Boston Whitehall Pulling Boat, 15-foot, Open Interior, Sliding-Seat Capable Ocean Racing Rowboat, Wineglass Transom

The nice part of the Chester Yawl is I see you can row them without a PDF even with small girls in fancy dresses. :face_with_hand_over_mouth:

If you really plan to use it in ocean surf I would eliminate any canoe and focus on a Sit on Top tandem kayak with 3 seating positions.

400#! Are you trying to say I’m FAT!? j/k
I am pretty big, but I’m going fishing not traversing the Fraser River for 3 weeks. I don’t know how much stuff you bring, but a 20l pack for a weekend trip does me fine.
My dog an daughter are only 25kg and 60kg respectively all of us together would just hit the limit of the NuCanoe and the Next would either be me, or my daughter.
What I am trying to say is, I know how to read the limits of a boat, weigh myself, and use common sense not to overload it. I am just asking for various options to check out.

I can see where my saying “surf” can be misleading, this isn’t Australia our waves are usually less than 1m, if that even. I see lots of sit on top, rec, and touring kayaks out having “beach fun”. Granted not too many canoes but they aren’t unheard of. A Dory, what I consider a dory, is for fishing in open ocean off a schooner, I’m not doing that. Yet… lol

If you are a heavy guy with a dog and a son, get a decent sized tandem canoe. That means 16 feet or more. Forget about pack canoes.